Nature or Nurture?

Did you ever find yourself making the same decision…. again… that you were trying desperately to change, only to wonder why you kept making the same mistake over and over?

There is an ongoing debate if this happens due to nature – it is simply a part of who you are, or nurture – it is a result of your environment. This issue is particularly confusing because there are some behavioral choices that are impacted by genetics. For instance, some people are far more likely to become alcoholics if they have a drink than other people, simply due to genetics. However, there are many people who grow up in the homes of an alcoholic who say “not me” and never drink a day in their lives.

I am impressed by the people who, despite their entire family struggling with a behavior, go on to change their life. These lives are living proof that we are not simply a matter of genetics and that we can overcome some of our genetic wiring.

So what makes change possible when genetics and our environment come together to keep us trapped? I think three things are absolutely necessary, and they have very little to do with our genetics or our environment, which is why they work:

  1. Faith – Believing in a God who is powerful enough to help save us and believing in a better future are powerful in keeping someone struggling moving forward
  2. Growth Mindset – A growth mindset is when we look at challenges as learning opportunities and not as something else keeping us down. Every challenge is a way to learn about ourselves, our environment, and to get better and doing life.
  3. Perseverance – Having a stubborn determination to be successful can provide the needed grittiness to keep going, especially when change is difficult – even seemingly impossible.

How can you use your faith, growth mindset, and perseverance to meet your goals today?

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